Can I get a copy of my tax return from the IRS?

Modified on Tue, 21 Feb 2023 at 08:08 PM

If you filed a tax return and can’t locate your copy, you can request a copy directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS keeps tax transcripts on file for the previous three tax years.

Depending on how you filed your taxes, you may be able to reach out to the person or company that prepared your returns before contacting the IRS.

If you used an accountant or tax preparer, for instance, you can reach out to them via email, phone, or by visiting their office to ask for a copy of the tax return you need. They likely have the most recent years’ tax returns on file.

And, if you used a tax preparation software like TurboTax, H&R Block, or Jackson Hewitt (to name a few), you can log into your online account and download copies of previous taxes. If you used online software, there’s also the chance that you downloaded it to your computer, so double check your files — you might be surprised to find you already have it.

Lastly, you can reach out to the IRS if you’re unable to retain a copy. The IRS will send you a transcript of the tax return in question (but you’re limited to the last three filing years). You can reach out in three ways:

  • Online - Create or log into your IRS account and visit “Get a Transcript Online” via the IRS website. You’ll need to verify your identity to proceed. If you’d prefer to request a mailed copy, you can do so by selecting “Get a Transcript by Mail” and you should receive a copy in five to 10 business days.
  • Phone - Call 1-800-908-9946 to request a transcript of your tax return. The IRS will then mail this to you.
  • Mail - If you don’t want to request a mailed copy online or by phone, you can fill out and send Form 4506-T or 4506-T-EZ to the IRS by mail.

If you’d like an actual copy of your tax return and not a transcript, you can fill out Form 4506 and mail it to the IRS. You’ll need to pay a $43 processing fee.

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